Women in history, big as life

June 27th, 2015 1:24 am

First Posted: 3/5/2013

Two years ago the West Pittston Library honored Presidents’ Day with a weeklong display of the world’s only collection of life-size cardboard cutout presidents.

Over 500 people throughout Luzerne County came to brush shoulders with the leaders of the United States.

To celebrate the achievements of women just in time for Women’s History Month, the library will once again create an interactive display for children and adults.

Celebrating the accomplishments of women in entertainment, sports, politics, the arts, civil rights and science and exploration, the life-size recreations will be on display during a special free Open House at the library ffrom 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23.

Participants can spend time learning little-known facts about these fascinating women such as who grew up in foster homes, who was nicknamed “Little Sure Shot,” whose research papers are so radioactive they are considered too dangerous to handle, who was accused of stealing a diamond necklace, who was married to her brother for a short time and who only wore white clothes.

“One of my favorite parts about creating this display is the research that goes into discovering memorable details of these women’s lives,” states Summer Belles, Youth Services Coordinator at the West Pittston Library. Belles also created the highly successful presidents display in February 2011.

“We may know that Harriet Tubman was instrumental in leading hundreds of slaves to freedom in the north through the Underground Railroad,” Belles added. “However, we may not know that she sustained a severe head wound while she was a slave and later in life underwent brain surgery without anesthesia, choosing instead to bite down on a bullet like she had seen Civil War soldiers do on the battlefield.”

The cardboard cutouts are created and donated by Wilkes-Barre businessman Stephen Taren, of Wet Paint, Inc., who also donated the cutouts of the U.S. presidents.

“I started the collection of women in history on my website historicalcutouts.com because, despite being oppressed though history, these women displayed tremendous courage” states Taren. “We can all learn something from and be inspired by the lives of these women.”

More information about this and other educational and enrichment programs at the library can be found at www.wplibrary.org or on their facebook page.